Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

October, 2000
Regional Report

Feed Cool-Season Grasses

If you haven't already fertilized your fescue or bluegrass lawn, do it now. Choose an organic or timed-release fertilizer and use a fertilizer spreader to ensure even distribution. You shouldn't use weed-control chemicals now. Instead, apply a fertilizer that contains plenty of nitrogen and phosphorus - the first two numbers in any fertilizer analysis.

Eat Your Greens

The early blast of cool weather we got recently probably did wonders for your turnips, mustard, lettuce, and spinach greens. They should taste great, because cool temperatures trigger sugar production in the leaves. If the cold damaged any leaves, pick them off. New ones will quickly emerge from the plant's center.

Buy Tulips

Tulips may be one-season wonders in our region, but so what? Buy them now, while the selection is good, and store them in your refrigerator until next month. In my most visible front-yard flowerbed, I like to wait until my mums lose their good looks and then replace them with tulips overplanted with mini-pansies.

Stockpile Pine Straw

Keep your eyes open for neighbors who think pine straw (needles) is trash. Pick it up, whether it\'s in bags or piled at the curb. To preserve its color, store your cache of pine straw in a shady place protected from direct sun. Then use it to mulch azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and other plants that prefer acidic soil.

Pot a Pumpkin

Want to have some new pumpkin fun? Cut off the top third of a medium-sized pumpkin and hollow it out. Bore a couple of drainage holes in the bottom, fill it with potting soil, and plant the top with colorful kale or pansies framed with a few long strands of English ivy or vinca minor.


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